Benefits of using a gratitude journal

Gratitude
Internalise the positive effects of Gratitude

Gratitude is like most desirable traits and qualities. It is usually not enough to simply decide to be grateful—we must actively practice it to embed its place in our lives.

Gratitude journaling, the best form of reflective learning, only takes a few minutes a day.

The benefits of gratitude journaling? It can give you a lasting mood boost that can take you from feeling “okay” to feeling “great” on a more regular basis.

Read on to learn what what a gratitude journal is, included some ideas for content to include in your journal.

You’ll find a couple of apps listed at the end of this article that can help you get started on your gratitude journaling journey.

Try to lean into the discomfort and keep your commitment to daily gratitude, because greater peace and contentment lie on the other side!

So what’s a gratitude journal?

A gratitude journal is, quite simply, a tool to keep track of the good things in life. Even more than that, regularly journaling about the good things in your life can subsequently prepare you to deal with life’s rough patches when they pop up.

Got a promotion at work? Journal it! Mastered a new dance move? Journal it! Received good news about holiday plans? 

You guessed it—journal it!

In case you’re wondering “What will this practice do for me?” read on to learn about the scientifically proven benefits of keeping gratitude journaling.

Some benefits of a gratitude journal

In our day-to-day lives, it’s easy to get caught up in the things that go wrong that can drain our energy. At the same time, we tend to easily adapt to the good things and people in our lives, taking these aspects for granted.

We often overlook everyday beauty and goodness; a kind gesture from a stranger, say, or the warmth of our heater on a chilly morning. In the process, we frequently miss opportunities for happiness and connection.

By remembering and listing three positive things that have happened in your day, and considering what caused them, you tune into the sources of goodness in your life.

It’s a habit that can change the emotional tone of your life, replacing feelings of disappointment or entitlement with those of gratitude, which may be why this practice is associated with significant increases in happiness.

Specific benefits…gratitude journaling, like many gratitude practices can effectively:

*Lower your stress levels; help you feel calmer (especially at night); give you a new perspective on what is important to you and what you truly appreciate in your life; promote clarity on what you want to have more of in your life, and what you can do without; and finally help you learn more about yourself and become more self-aware.

*On days when you feel a little flat, you can read through your gratitude journal to readjust your attitude and remember all the good things in your life.

*Gratitude journaling has been found to have a significant, positive impact on well-being, affect, and depression.

Journaling
Some ideas that will make it easier

Here’s 9 useful gratitude prompts below to get you started.

If you’re stuck, these prompts should be able to kickstart your gratitude creativity.

*Write about a person in your life that you’re especially grateful for and why.

*What skills or abilities are you thankful to have?

*What is there about a challenge you’re experiencing right now that you can be thankful for?

*How is where you are in life today different than a year ago–and what positive changes are you thankful for?

*What activities and hobbies would you miss if you were unable to do them?

*What materialistic items are you most grateful for?

*Write about the music you’re thankful to be able to listen to and why.

*Who has done something this week to help you or make your life easier and how can you thank them?

*What foods or meals are you most thankful for?

Whether it’s your child’s smile as you tuck them into bed; your Pandora or Spotify playlist that so often plays exactly the song you needed to hear; the groceries your significant other brought home from the store; or simply the sound of rain falling on your window at night (calming and relaxing you), there are always wonderful moments in your day to be grateful for.

Journal App
 
Gratitude Journal Apps That Can Help

If you love your tech, check out…

Gratitude / Bliss Journal available for Android devices and takes up only a tiny sliver of your phone’s memory. Best of all, it’s free to install!

Gratitude 365 Pro available for iPhone and allows the user to incorporate photos, track their journaling by day, and organize with email, Facebook, Twitter, or Flickr calendar.

Day One Another app for iPhone, iPad, and Mac users, Day One helps you keep a digital diary complete with pictures, maps, and notes about your day.

Additional resources

34 Best TED Talks And Videos on The Power of Gratitude

Develop your mental fitness

At Get Mentally Fit, many of our programs and services are directly informed by the fundamental concepts of positive habit formation, which are a critical skill of mentally fit people.

Contact us to explore how we can support your mental fitness so you will enjoy a more fulfilling personal and professional life.

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